“The Drummond Girls” by Mardi Jo Link

drummondgirlsA tribute to the power of friendship, The Drummond Girls tells the story of a fiercely tight bond of eight women forged and strengthened over two decades on the wild frontier of Drummond Island in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  What begins as a quick party weekend getaway among four friends and co-workers turns into a solemn pact to return every year, barring only pregnancy or death.  Stripped of the entrapments of life (spouses, partners, housework, kids, jobs), they faced the wild together year after year with resilience and jello shots.

Link writes: “That we ever became friends at all is miraculous.”  Their group was made up of every combination of married, single, divorced; political spectrum from conservative to liberal to “None-of-Your-Damn-Business”; and education levels from high school to post graduate.  Besides Drummond Island, what they all share is a “puritan-esque independence.”  And by that she means that “one Drummond Girl does not ask another Drummond Girl for anything very often.  When one does, no matter what it is, you do not say no.”

There is something magical about the desolate, reckless, and wild beauty of Drummond Island as described by Link: thick woods, rocky shore, bears, and wolves.  While the lives of the women from year to year were subject to the unpredictable winds of chance and change: babies, marriage, divorce, career changes, unemployment, and even death, the island remained constant.  “The island didn’t care about anything that happened on the other side of the bridge.”  Link continues: “Everything in my life that was supposed to be secure, most notably my marriage and my finances, felt unpredictable.  My weekend away with the girls had started out as just a chance to party without interference from anyone, an opportunity to go somewhere to escape our responsibilities for a little while.  But it gave me something to look forward to, and had begun to feel more stable and certain than any other part of my life.”

Link grew up in Detroit, went to MSU for journalism and now lives in Traverse City.  Her memoir, Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass On a Northern Michigan Farm, was an Indie Next pick, received the 2013 Booksellers Choice Award from the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, an Elle magazine’s Reader’s Prize, the Housatonic Book Award for Nonfiction, and was named a Michigan Notable Book. Film rights have been sold to Academy Award-winning actress, Rachel Weisz.

She has also written the true crime books, When Evil Came to Good HartIsadore’s Secret, and Wicked Takes the Witness Stand, which were each Heartland bestsellers.

Mardi Jo Link will attend The Book Nook & Java Shop’s book club fto discuss “The Drummond Girls” at 6pm Wednesday, July 5.  Immediately following at 7pm, she will give a talk at the Montague Library.

Watch Bryan on WZZM Channel 13’s “My West Michigan” morning show at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5.  Join The Book Nook’s monthly book club at 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 5 to discuss The Drummond Girls at the Book Nook & Java Shop in Downtown Montague with refreshments, snacks, beverages, and camaraderie; of course, everyone is welcome. The Club meets monthly all year long.  Get 20% off the Book Club’s book selection all month, too.

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